The healthcare industry is among the fastest-growing industries worldwide. Along with the growth is the increased need for medical professionals. Today, nurses are among the most wanted experts in healthcare, primarily because of new technology, the elderly, and the current nurses’ retirement. It’s one of those job opportunities that come with a certain sense of security whereby as long as you do your work like you are supposed to, you can rest assured you will keep it until you retire.

What’s more, being a registered nurse comes with significant satisfaction since you help people who are in great need of your services. Becoming a registered nurse comes with many benefits. However, if you are thinking about how to become an RN, you should know that the path takes some time, but the journey is quite rewarding. While it is a growing profession, the following are essential things to consider to kick-start your career:

Apply and join a nurse program

It is necessary to enroll in an accredited institution because having an educational background is what you need to get a license to practice. You get several options, from diplomas to doctorate degrees. You will need to set aside at least two years before you finish your registered nurse courses. However, the program you choose will influence the amount of time you will need to get through learning and earn your certificate. Some levels take longer and are more demanding than others. For example, full-time investment for a bachelor’s qualification will take you four years to accomplish, but for associates that wish to enhance their expertise, it only takes two years to get a bachelor’s degree.

To be registered, you should finish up general education and not forget your nursing coursework. Today, as medical institutions compete to offer the best medical care, employment priority goes to those who graduated with a degree.

Obtain clinical experience

Your nursing education is dependent on clinical experience. As you pursue your rotations, you are able to apply all the skills you were taught at school to real-life situations. Being out there in the world doing what you have been studying allows you to gain experience in dealing with different healthcare settings while also expanding your professional network, which every RN needs.

Graduate and pass the NCLEX

If you get this far, you can rest assured you are well on your way to becoming the nurse you have always thought of. There is a high possibility you will be overwhelmed, but things will start to clear up as you approach the finish line. With your degree in hand, the only thing stopping you from getting that fulfilling career as an RN is the NCLEX. The National Council Licensure Examination is one of those exams that every prospective nurse must pursue. If you have an AND or BSN, it will not be difficult passing the NCLEX exam. Success is vital if you are hoping to become licensed. The test comes with 75-265 questions covering different areas. If you apply for the assessment, expect to spend a significant amount of time preparing and prepping. It is a crucial exam thus, it requires the highest level of seriousness and professionalism.

Get licensing in your country

Once you have passed your NCLEX test, be sure you are well on your way to being allowed to practice. It is the only way of receiving the go-ahead to practice. However, failing the exam does not mean that your dream should go down the drain, you can repeat it a maximum of eight times, leaving some period of at least 45 days in between the tests. Some institutions ask students to pay an extra fee of approximately $200. However, each state has its licensing guidelines. Understand the requirements of your state before deciding on the program you like.

Learning and working towards an RN position can seem like a daunting task, and it can be if you are not well-prepared or lack the correct information. You should know the steps involved and be ready to pursue all of them. You don’t become an excellent RN without proper education. There are no shortcuts, but if you are devoted, it is a very fulfilling career. 

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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